Friday, July 24, 2020

Wise as ___________________.

I give you a heart wise and discerning………
1 Kings 3:12

The words above are part of God’s blessing Solomon as he granted his desire for wisdom.  Five quick facts about Solomon:

  1. He  was born about 1000 years before Christ.  
  2. He is the son of David, the great King of Israel and Bathsheba.  
  3. His Hebrew name “Schlomo” means peaceful.  
(Consider the similarity between it and shalom.)  
  1. He was crowned King at the age of 20 by the prophet Nathan who gave him the name Jedidiah which means “beloved of God”.  
  2. His crowning achievement was the construction of the temple in Jerusalem.

The following verse tells of Solomon’s asking God for wisdom in this week’s first reading.
The Lord was pleased by Solomon’s request.  So God said to him: Because you asked for this—you did not ask for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies—but you asked for discernment to know what is right— 1Kings 3:10-11

What is wisdom?   
Wisdom is one of those qualities that is difficult to define—because it encompasses so much—but which people generally recognize when they encounter it. And it is encountered most obviously in the realm of decision-making.    - from Psychology Today

Why is wisdom important?  
Our moral life “is sustained by the gifts of the Spirit”  
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church #1830 *
         * Wisdom is the first of seven gifts of the Spirit listed in #1831.

What is the practical application of Wisdom?
This is why we must ask the Lord to gift us the Holy Spirit and the gift of wisdom that teaches us to see with God's eyes, to feel with God's heart to speak with God's words! - Pope Francis “Reflections on the Holy Spirit”

Two areas for further exploration
  1. The Power of Vulnerability 
The Holy Father’s words “feel with God’s heart” provide an excellent segue to Brene’ Brown’s work in the wisdom of “whole-hearted” decision making.  

  1. Ambiguous Loss
Although Psychologist Pauline Boss coined this term to deal with unresolved loss well before the Covid 19 pandemic, it provides an excellent framework for dealing with the ongoing void that began in mid-March.  Here is a link to an updated conversation between her and Krista Tippett in the latter’s podcast titled On Being 

My Outshot
Rather than find solutions, the wisdom of both Brown and Boss centers on thriving in the midst of the unknown.   Sound advice for this time of Covid.  Sound advice for life.

See you soon,


Changing Sides

Changing Sides (or) Breaking the Streak
I have never based a Liturgical Note on the writings of St. Paul because what we hear at mass:
  1.  is only a snippet of a deep philosophical argument
  2.  doesn’t relate to the other readings
  3.  contains densely worded run-on sentences 

The streak is over.

“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.”   Romans 8:18
Most of what I know about Paul comes from the story of his conversion on the Road to Damascus.  (Acts, Chapter 9) Don't feel bad if you can't recall much.  It is proclaimed in church once every three years, on the third Friday after Easter.  

Rather than repeat the story, I offer Paul’s description of himself.  It is taken from his testimony before Ananias, the High Priest and Felix, the Roman Governor.  Paul is on trial for preaching about Christ and has spent the last 2 year in jail.

“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. (Jerusalem) At the feet of Gamaliel (an esteemed Pharisee) I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today.  I persecuted this Way (Christianity) to death, binding both men and women and delivering them to prison.”    Acts 22: 3-4

The Saul who was a driving force in the martyrdom Stephan and countless unnamed Christians has changed sides.  

His sword has been replaced with something more powerful. 
“To know (Christ) and the power of his resurrection and [the] sharing of his sufferings…”  Philippians 3:10  

The one who caused paralyzing fear among the Apostles is now calling then to hold fast to the promise of Christ.  

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.”  Romans 8:18 

These words have brought me comfort and hope.  I pray they bring the same to you.

See you soon,


Why won't you be my neighbor?

  October 25th 2020 3oth Sunday in Ordinary Time   Thus says the LORD: You shall not oppress or afflict a resident alien,  for you were once...